Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard
By: Richard Woodard
Resident columnist and spirits know-it-all Richard Woodard provides his monthly take on the latest in the global white spirits industry.
For a spirits brand, what does being a “category leader” mean? Is it purely a blunt measure of cases sold? Profit made? Or something more elusive and nebulous? Richard Woodard, gin in hand, investigates.
The aim of all brand owners is to secure consumer loyalty above all competitors. But, as Richard Woodard suggests, this might be an unattainable - and hence unrealistic - aim.
Following a flurry of activity in the Tequila sector last month, has Diageo finally returned to the point it had previously reached when it handled Jose Cuervo? Richard Woodard compares then to now.
Flavoured vodka may have hit a bump in the US, but there's a major opportunity in global markets for the sub-category, argues Richard Woodard.
Category definitions are an on-going minefield in parts of the spirits industry. Gin, rum and Tequila have all suffered from muddled thinking. But none compare to what absinthe has experienced. Here, Richard Woodard wages war on the red-tape wretchedness that surrounds the category
Returning to the just-drinks fold in the guise of our white spirits commentator, Richard Woodard kicks off his latest stint with us with a look at Bacardi's recently-announced global marketing push for its Grey Goose vodka brand.
They may be linked by little but geographical origin, but cachaça and Tequila have quite a bit more in common that one might initially believe. It's just that, according to Richard Woodard, you've got to really look for the link.
When Pernod Ricard said last week that it is updating the packaging for - and raising the price of - Plymouth Gin, there was a run on tonic water at Richard Woodard's local shop. It's taken a while, but the brand is back, and Woodard would like to celebrate.
A new generation of Russian vodka brands is struggling to get its voice heard, the moneyed Russian Standard aside. Richard Woodard thinks some collective bargaining might do the trick.
Innovation in the spirits industry is 'a good thing'. But, Richard Woodard is worried that, of occasion, some spirits companies run the risk of disappearing up their own still pipes when they over-innovate.
Diageo's Paul Walsh isn't short of people telling him what to do with his company's money. So, on the back of a strong set of full-year results, Richard Woodard decided to have a nose around the Diageo stable to see what is still missing.
Ladies are all the rage in the drinks industry, it would appear. With product launches in beer, soft drinks and spirits targetting the fairer sex, it would appear that the female of the species is in the spotlight. But, Richard Woodard is unimpressed - and he's got Diageo in his crosshairs.
The Japanese are coming! Granted, Japanese whisky has been available in export markets for quite some time, but, according to Richard Woodard, the country's distillers would do well to take a fresh look at their marketing messages, to try to get consumers aware of their existence.
The recent launch of a gin brand here in the UK has riled traditionalist gin fans. Richard Woodard believes the fuss is merited – calling a gin-like spirit gin is sure to get people's juices flowing, concedes Woodard. But, hey, why not call it a vodka and have done?
A change in permitted terms for Irish whiskey in the US has been turned from a problem into an opportunity by the market leader, Pernod Ricard's Irish Distillers. Whilst Richard Woodard is happy to applaud the unit's handling of the matter, could this not be used as a springboard, he asks, for the category as a whole to really hit the gas?
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